These rubrics and ceremonial postures for those praying the ‘Little Office’ in private are modified from the guidelines and postures described for the public choral recitation of the ‘Little Office’ in the Carmelite Rite.
All changes to the original text are only personal interpretations and should not be considered authoritative or ecclesiastically approved in any way.
In the common or choral recitation the use of the Latin language is much preferable and the indulgences attached to the recitation cannot be gained when the Office is recited in choir in any other language. Outside choral recitation or chanting the Little Office can be recited in any approved translation and the indulgences can be gained, but even in non-choral recitation the use of Latin is still preferable.
In whatever language the Office is recited, the words must be pronounced by the vocal organs [moving the lips and tongue] because it is a vocal prayer. Nevertheless, when it is recited alone in the church or wherever others may be present, care should be taken not to disturb others even by lisping [whispering]. It is sufficient to be conscious that the vocal organs are being exercised, and the person reciting the Office need not hear himself, but a mere mental reading or following of the Office does not suffice.
Those reciting the Office privately need not follow any of the rubrics except those that pertain to changes in the liturgical seasons. However, in private recitation it will be well to observe, as far as possible, the ceremonial of the choir; being mindful of the words of the Psalmist : In the sight of the Angels will I sing praises unto Thee; I will worship towards Thy holy temple, and will praise Thy Name because of Thy loving-kindness and Truth..
- The Office is essentially the same throughout the year. However, during Advent and Christmastide, there are portions proper to those seasons.
- Advent begins with the first Vespers of the Saturday before the first Sunday of Advent.
- Christmastide begins with the first Vespers of Christmas and continues until after Compline of the feast of the Purification.
- The ordinary form of the Office begins at Matins the day after the feast of the Purification and continues until Advent.
- When Matins is immediately followed by Lauds, the Ave Maria before the Deus in Adjutorum, etc., is omitted.
- The Antiphon of the Blessed Virgin Mary should be recited at the end of Matins if Matins is separated from Lauds.
- The Te Deum is omitted during Advent (see section 1 above) and Lent (from Vespers of the Saturday before Septuagesima Sunday until Compline of the Saturday before Easter) except on feasts of Our Lady and of the patron of the Institute.
- The office of the feast of the Annunciation is taken from the Office of Advent.
- During Lent the Laus tibi, Domine, etc., is said in place of the Alleluia.
- During Passiontide the Gloria Patri, etc., is said as usual. During the last three days of Holy Week the Little Office is not recited publicly.
- The Regina Cœli becomes the Antiphon of the Blessed Virgin during Paschaltide and is recited after the Nunc dimittis from Holy Saturday until Lauds of the Saturday before Trinity Sunday.
- When the commemoration of a patron saint or of one of our own Carmelite saints is made, it should be made between the oration that follows the Magnificat or Benedictus and the Antiphon of the Blessed Virgin.
Ceremonial for the Recitation of the Little Office
- Kneel at the introductory and the concluding prayers of the Office.
- Stand for the intonation of the Ave Maria.
- Begin the office, while standing, and at Domine, labia mea aperies, make the sign of the cross upon the lips(✠ (Sign of cross over lips)); then at the Deus in adjutórum meum make the large sign of the cross (☩ (Large sign of the cross)).
- Stand for the Ave Maria and the versicles which follow; at the first intonation [verse] of the first psalm; for the Venite, exultemus; for the little chapters; after the first verse of the Ave, Maria Stella; for the canticles and their antiphons, versicles and orations.
- Kneel for the commemorations of Our Lady. All stand, however, when the commemoration is the Regina Cœli; all stand also when the commemoration of Our Lady is made during the period between Saturday’s Vespers and Sunday’s Compline.
- Stand for the hymns, for the Pater Noster and the first blessing.
- A profound bow is made at the Gloria Patre; at Sit Nomen Domine; at the name of Jesus; and at the last verse of each hymn.
- A medium bow (inclination of the shoulders) is made whenever the name of Mary occurs.
- A slight bow of the head is made at the mention of commemorated saints.
 Rev. Father Kevin, O.D.C., Way of Perfection for the Laity: A detailed explanation of the Discalced Carmelite Third Secular Order Rule(Dublin: Gill and Son, 1963), 82. ↩
 Ibid, 93. ↩
 Rev. Vincent Maria McDonald, O.C.D., comp.,The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel with the Office of the Dead according to the Carmelite Rite (New York: Scapular Press, 1953), xiii. ↩
 Ethelred L. Taunton, (London : J. Bale; New York, F. Pustet, 1903), 438. ↩
 McDonald,The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel xiv-xv. ↩
 McDonald,The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel, p. 8, after the Invitatory: “On Passion Sunday, Palm Sunday and on the feasts of Holy Week [Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday], the Glória patri is omitted and the invitatory Ave María, grátia plena; * Dóminus tecum is repeated. ↩
 McDonald,The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel xv-xviii. ↩